Multi-Million Dollar Drug Bust Exposes Persistent Vulnerability at US-Mexico Border

Multi-Million Dollar Drug Bust Exposes Persistent Vulnerability at US-Mexico BorderSource: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Ben J. Costas
Published on September 22, 2023

Otay Mesa port of entry recently made headlines as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized over $5 million worth of liquid methamphetamine and cocaine concealed in two tractor trailers, according to a CBP press release. This highlights an ongoing vulnerability at the U.S.-Mexico border, which continuously emerges as a central point for narcotics trafficking.

On September 12, a 25-year-old Mexican citizen driver seeking entry into the United States was flagged by CBP officers for further examination. The use of non-intrusive inspection technology revealed anomalies in the gas tank of the tractor trailer, leading to the discovery of 663.15 pounds of liquid methamphetamine in 22 five-gallon buckets. A second incident took place on September 15, when a 33-year-old Mexican citizen driver was similarly flagged for further inspection, at which point 146 packages of cocaine, totaling 401.68 pounds, were discovered hidden in a shipment of cucumbers. 

The estimated street value of the seized narcotics stands at $5,367,525, marking a substantial dent in the profits of international narcotics syndicates. Both drivers were handed over to Homeland Security Investigations for further processing, while the tractors, trailers, and drugs were seized by CBP officers. Rosa Hernandez, Otay Mesa Port Director, praised the dedication and hard work of the officers involved in these large-scale seizures in the official statement.